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Reducing Stress, Rebooting System Can Lead To Cultivate Good Habits

Update Date: Dec 16, 2015 09:46 AM EST
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Formation of new and positive habits often leads to a meaningful development of the self. But when stress gets in the way, it is often challenging, if not impossible, to shift to a better patterns of behavior.

According to Eric Ravenscraft, stress is the main reason why people fail at cultivating good habits citing a UCLA postdoctoral study.

"The prefrontal cortex is the part of your brain that focuses on long-term habits and can override your desire to watch Netflix and drink beer, instead of getting work done," wrote Ravenscraft as directly quoted from his Lifehacker article.

Put it simply, the more stress you have, the more clouded your mind becomes. When that happens, you are less likely to change and nurture better habits.

Alex Korb, author of the Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, argued that habits are formed because of their practical value to addressing concerns in daily life as stated in a Psychology Today article he wrote.

However, when these habits no longer serve their purpose, people would find it hard to get rid of things which had worked for a long time. Eventually, habits that do not conform to practical goals in life could lead to a steady buildup of stress that hinders the creation of better and more functional patterns of behavior.

So how do we unlearn useless habits and learn new ones?

In a separate Psychology Today article, Korb advised readers to take a few simple steps to positively influence our brain circuitry. His stress hacking tips include getting more sun, doing physical activities, stretching tight muscles, having a massage, and performing deep breathing exercises.

In another note, Due Quach, founder of Calm Clarity, suggested a more oriental-inspired but scientifically-proven technique which she termed as 'mind-hacking' or meditation to manage stress.

"I don't believe in the New Agey dogma; instead I believe in the clear scientific evidence of the benefits of meditation," said Quach as quoted by Miami Herald.

Since founding the start-up in 2014, Calm Clarity integrated neuroscience into mind-hacking techniques in order to optimize an individual's mental state so it can better tackle non-useful habits and counterproductive behavior.

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